Ikea halts sales of solar PV in UK

Ikea has pulled residential solar PV systems from its shelves in the United Kingdom in response to drastic cuts in government solar subsidies, the Guardian reported on Monday.

The world’s leading furniture and home accessories retailer began selling residential solar PV systems in 2013 and expanded its offering the following year to all of its 17 stores in Britain. It partnered with Hong Kong-based Hanergy to offer affordable solar panels in view of growing customer demand for solar technology. In November, however, Ikea did not renew its contract with the solar PV group, the Guardian said. The decision followed the U.K. government’s announcement of severe cuts to solar subsidies.

While Ikea has not given a reason for the move, a company spokeswoman told the newspaper that the retailer would begin selling solar panels again later this year. Other Chinese solar companies are said to be vying for a possible new deal with Ikea.

It remains unclear whether Ikea’s decision to stop carrying Hanergy product reflects the PV company’s ongoing financial troubles or whether it was based on the U.K.’s less attractive incentives. Hanergy shares have remained suspended from trading since the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC) ordered the move last July.

Meanwhile, the U.K.’s feed-in tariff program reopened this week after having been closed to new applicants for the past three weeks. However, it is now offering rates that are 65% lower than before and the program includes a new cap on installations, the newspaper added.